Verb Types: Action Verbs*

Verb Types: Action Verbs

April 4, 2019

Native English Instructor

Written by Douglas Shaw

Action verbs indicate what the subject of a sentence performs. Action verbs can make the listener/reader feel emotions, see scenes more vividly and accurately.

Action verbs can be transitive or intransitive.

Transitive verbs must have a direct object. A transitive verb demands something/someone to be acted upon.


  • She is reading the newspaper. (The verb ‘read’ asks the question “what is she reading?” – the answer is the object)

Intransitive verbs do not act upon anything. They may be followed by an adjective, adverb, preposition, or another part of speech.


  • I wake up at 4 AM. (No object is needed for this verb)